Demo Asia 2012: Asia Pacific’s launch pad for emerging technology and trends
1st March 2012, Biopolois, Singapore.
The demo Asia event.
Attending an event after the longest time- and it had to be this. special thanks to Rice Communications for the invite)
A chance to meet up with the right people within the start up circle in the region. A chance to get inspired and a chance to understand what goes on within these circles.
The more people you meet, the luckier you get: says Benjamin Ng: one of the pioneers of Demo Asia as I write making almost on cue to my last paragraph.
But we seriously need a better ecosystem for mobile- and fast. The hype around mobile is greater than it ever was, but poor User interfaces of mobile devices, poor connectivity, still expensive devices and hardware and more importantly, suboptimal functionality of mobile led applications threaten to derail this momentum.
- Presence of some Asian entrepreneurs (Not Only Western entrepreneurs who have started up Asia). Important because Asian societies are just opening up to the ‘start-up’ culture
- Mature entrepreneurs: Not just twenty somethings- but thirty and maybe forty somethings pitching their wares. A really significant trend. These guys could probably earn 5-6 figure salaries and have families. Giving up those things and becoming an entrepreneur at this life stage- bringing their experience to the forefront – all important mixes that the ecosystem needs.
- Digital- but real: Devices and services that have real use in the real world- for Autistic children ( T-Jacket), alerting devices for drivers (Tech Drivers) , help with bed sores, gloves to use on digital devices in cold weather…opens up your mind to so many possibilities- kudos to them for starting something – this is one sector that would grow far- using digital technologies to tangibly impact life.
- Most entertaining presentation: Soft Shell (Or Sof Shell- can’t figure out the site URL)- They make a protective shell can be used for various utilities- presented various use cases- but not clear how would the product be customized for various uses- from protective phone cases to helmets to protective sports gear, etc. They kept the crowd whistling and cheering throughout an energized presentation.
- Most novel eCommerce solution: Aftership: If you are a blogshop or an ecommerce site- now give the functionality of tracking to your end customers. They also provide white label shipping notifications. In the heavily invested-in ecommerce market in Asia, there are still very few services focussing on growing the ecosystem- logistics industry badly needs to evolve here- and this is a step in the right direction. Full marks on the concept. Now lets hope the delivery matches (no pun intended)
- Most obviously unexplored market: Dropmyemail – would you care backing up your gmail/yahoo mail/ hotmail? If you do- and I think there certainly would be a market that would want to- use this cloud based email back up service.
- Social Media Monthly- A publication (Print!) that focuses on Social Media analysis. Subscription based- also has a web edition . Sure enough – there must be a market for digital marketing guys who want to read a print magazine- say on the airplane, etc. Or maybe not. Maybe it is targeted at senior execs- still comfortable with print and who want more analysis/opinion pieces in a digest format. To be honest- haven’t yet read through the mag- but not really sure about this one.
- Most awesome use of analytics: Mobilewalla- a service that ranks mobile apps. Useful for comscore/neilsen type ratings for apps. Also empowers app developers with intelligence ranging from competitive information to sentiment tracking
- Most money saving utility: Flexiroam- save money while roaming with this solution.
Noticed a few interesting loyalty based and gamification based start ups, some services for taking the pain out of mobile site and app development (GClue and Monaca), some innovations with interesting twist, (like pay for crowdsourced trading advice from start-ups (TradeHero)- and start-ups from all over Asia (noticed almost 4 start-ups all the way from Japan)
My 2 days were made. I had hoped to meet some investors to understand what goes on through their minds in events like this- did not happen this time but hope to cover those sometime soon.More importantly, it was a good refresher. Alongside, it gave me an opportunity to celebrate all the Storm Chasers at the event. Good fun!